It seems to me that Classroom 2.0 participants seem to overlook the competition: video games. We try so hard to find innovative ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms while our students go home and plug in to Xbox, Wii, or whatever. Computer and video games are a mult-billion dollar industry that employs some of the best minds in technology. One game alone, Grand Theft Auto IV, reportedly cost around $100 million to make. Over a thousand people contributed to its creation. The Entertainment Software Industry reports 65% of American households play computer or video games and 63% of the parents believe games are important part of their children's lives.

What if we could get that kind of money and expertise to work towards education? How can we get parents to put some of the money they spend on entertainment into the classroom? How much time do kids spend on gaming vs. homework? You may suggest educational computer games, but they hardly compare to what the kids are playing. On the other hand, I don't think games need car chases or hand to hand combat to capture their attention. I just think the best game creators are following the money and that isn't in education. How can we bring the two together?

Here's a link to my blog on the topic if you'd like to read more.

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Tags: administration, eduational technology, gaming, parents, technology in education

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We need to keep students aware of both the importance of learning the material as well as making it interesting. We have all taken courses, in high school and/or in college where we knew the importance of learning the material but that didn't stop us from finding other things to procrastinate because it may not have striked our interest like that video game did.
There are a lot of video games out there that do educate students but you are right, there are a lot mroe that dont. I think if schools tried harder to incorporate educational video games into the classroom, students would learn to play them more, thus encouraging companies to make more of them.
See I come at it from a completely different perspective. I believe instead of fighting popular culture we need to be embracing it in our classrooms. This is the approach David Hutchinson takes in his book Playing to Learn: Video Games in the Classroom. Wait before I lose you, he is not presenting video game play as a replacement for direct instruction, instead he believes that by engaging with them as pedagogical resources students can study, discuss and analyze virtual worlds using creativity and critical thinking. I did a review of the book at www.popgoestheclassroom.com
I agree with Sam. There must be some sort of discussion about the importance of school and making good grades. Kids are going to play video games, period. It is an industry that, sadly, education may have a difficult time competing with. The key is finding a balance that works for each student that chooses to play games.

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